Congress went into recess for two weeks, whilst letting the $600 economic relief paycheck and the eviction moratorium expire last July 31, 2020 without clarity. As many Americans are still unemployed and while many businesses still unable to pick up where they left off before the COVID-19 lockdown, job opportunities are as elusive as ever.
The only source of financial assistance is the unemployment benefits being doled out by state governments. In addition, the expiration of the eviction moratorium could drive many Americans out of their homes.
The sad part is that the amount of unemployment benefits vary from state to state. Based on the list of unemployment benefits being paid out per state, the amount handed out as financial assistance can be as low as $5 to $20 minimum per week; albeit tending to vary based on the eligibility of the person applying for unemployment benefit. Overall, the average unemployment benefit paid in the U.S. is $6.00 per week.
The following states pay a minimum of below $100 per week: Connecticut ($15), Delaware ($20), Hawaii ($5), Louisiana ($10), Nevada ($16), North Carolina ($15) and Oklahoma ($16). Arizona and Washington have the highest minimum of nearly $190 per week.
However, a meager minimum does not indicate that a state is less generous. The rationale behind the low amount is to make it easier for residents to qualify for state unemployment benefit, which denotes that high a minimum in state financial aid has more stringent eligibility requirements. Hawaai for example pays a minimum of $5 per week but has been noted to rank second in the payment of unemployment benefits in May, which averaged at $466 per week.
Comparison of Eligibility Requirements for State Unemployment Benefit
While Hawaii pays only $5 minimum, a recipient needs ony to meet the following eligibikity requirements:
1. An applicant must have earned a minimum amount in wages for at least two quarters during the period between April 2018 to March 31, 2019.
2. An applicant became unemployed through no fault of his own as delineated under Hawaii law.
3. An applicant must be actively seeking for work and available to work any time.
Although Washing5on pays the highest minimum in unem0loyment benefits, an applicant’s reason will be evaluated before they can qualify.
1. A person applying for unemployment benefit in Washington must have worked in the state during the recent 18 months; except those who worked for the federal government or the military.
2. The Washington State Security Department will evaluate the reason why the applicant is unemployed, whether it be due to lay off or firing; or if the applicant quit his job. Evaluations may include reason for military discharge, or involvement in a labor dispute or work strike.